For the first section of this post to make much sense, you'll need to know that my apartment has two entrance doors...
They're at opposite ends of the west wall. They each open onto a landing (shared with my neighbor), then steps go down to a small foyer (shared with the downstairs neighbors), and to an exterior door. The south door goes to the parking lot, the north to Morrison Street. The stairwells do not connect, except by going through one of the apartments. And sound carries quite well in them; I can hear when someone's coming up the stairs.
Within the last few weeks, the lights in both stairwells stopped turning on (either burned out, or their timer/light-sensor is out). So it's rather dark at the top of the stairs. Generally this is no problem; the streetlights outdoors give just enough illumination for me to navigate.
Then last week, at about 6:15 a.m., I hear someone coming up the south stairs. And there's a knock on my door. I look through the peephole, which is useless. But the shadowy figure was shorter than me and was probably harmless, so I open the door to find my neighbor, J. She says the north exterior door is locked and the safety chain is on her apartment's south door, so could I unlock the exterior door so she can get in? I say sure, she heads back down the stairs, and I go unlock the offending portal. On the way, I realize that she could have just walked through my apartment, instead of going all the way out and around the building. Maybe she felt uncertain about being alone, albeit briefly, in the apartment of a man with disheveled hair, NaNoEdMo t-shirt and penguin-and-polar-bear pajamas (in my defense, I had just woken up). Perhaps she didn't want me asking why she was getting home at 6:15 in the morning. But we've all been there, right? Say no more!
Part II: Last night, I was spending some quality time with Mr. Television. The original plan was for the Librarian* to bring over an action figure for me to photograph (for the Halloween party coming up, naturally), but she had asked to postpone, as she was feeling a bit under the weather. So when I heard people coming up the stairs, I assumed it was some of the neighbor's friends, until the knock came at my door. I look through the peephole (I admit, I'm not sure why I bother looking. I guess I feel like I should do it, even though it only tells me that there are shadowy figures standing outside my door, which I already knew, because I heard the approaching footsteps and the knock.) Let this be a safety lesson for all of you, because when I opened the door: PIRATES!
Well, sanguinity was dressed as a pirate, complete with jolly-roger headscarf and cutlass. grrlpup was dressed more like a pirate on her day off, but she carried a coconut! So luckily, these were the polite sort of pirates who bring a gift when arriving unannounced to pillage.
I had never seen an easy-open coconut before. There's a plug in one of the eyes, which you pop out to drain the milk. Then a few smacks with a hammer on the groove cut into the husk cracks it open. We noshed on tasty coconut a bit, then they tried to leave. But I'd put water on for tea, and apparently they felt guilty enough for interrupting my evening to stay for a while. We talked about movies, and books made into movies, which led to the benefits and annoyances of the library's change to the new catalog system, and I showed them the Barbie fairy costume I just got from eBay. I had fun, and there were no long pauses while everyone looked at their feet, so I think they had a good time too.
I believe it was the best Talk Like A Pirate Day I've ever had! But I've already made the call today to the landlord to have the lights replaced, because if I'm going to be getting unexpected knocks at the door, I'd really rather know who's on the other side before I open it.
* And before any of my family members ask: No, she is NOT an orangutan.